Beginner kettlebell exercises are an excellent way to add variety to your workout routine, whether you’re new to strength training or you’re just faithful to your trusty 15-pound dumbbells. Using different equipment offers up new ways to work your muscles, which is key to seeing results, and there are endless ways to burn out your entire body with ultra-versatile kettlebells (and raise your heart rate for a cardio boost, too).
To help you get to know this excellent training tool, Andy Speer, co-owner of SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, hand-picked these seven beginner kettlebell exercises and designed a workout incorporating them exclusively for SELF. To get started, you’ll need a 10- to 15-pound kettlebell (or 4 to 6 kilograms). If you have experience with kettlebells but you’re just looking to add new moves to your repertoire, go for 15 to 20 pounds. Let’s lay down some terminology, too, since different exercises have you holding different parts of the kettlebell: The “ball” refers to the heavy sphere at the bottom, and the handle is the part attached to it. The handle (AKA the horns) can be gripped at the top, on the sides, or near the base where it meets the ball on both sides.
You can incorporate these moves into your typical training routine. Or combine them all for a full kettlebell circuit. To do this, do moves 1-3 and repeat 3x. These improve stability. Then, focus on challenging your muscles with moves 4 and 5 (repeat 3x). Finish off with moves 6 and 7 (repeat 3x) to drive your heart rate up for a cardio bonus.
Ready to get on a first-name basis with kettlebells? Get started here.